Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear asked the state’s public and private schools on Monday to delay in-person classes until September 28.
Beshear called the decision “tough but necessary” and added he wants children to go back to in-person instruction and understands Kentucky’s kids are falling behind without it. However, he stated “the overall health and safety of our children and their teachers comes first,” citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in children across the country and in the state, as well as higher overall numbers.
He had originally suggested school systems delay in-person learning until at least August 17. On Monday, the governor said the new recommendation will give enough time to avoid continuous delays each week.
While Monday’s announcement is a recommendation rather than a mandate, the Governor said he strongly believes now is not the time to go back, and “if a superintendent makes the decision to bring students in then they will have to answer to the parents in their district. “
Higher education institutions in Kentucky, however, are still able to move forward with their own plans because they have housing options and most are not coming home to their families and older guardians, in some cases.
Additional executive orders announced Monday will allow restaurants to expand their current guest capacity from 25 percent up to 50 percent, and bars will be allowed to re-open under certain guidelines. The Governor said restaurant and bar owners must continue to encourage guests to sit outside. Food and drink services will be halted at 10 p.m. and the establishments must close their doors by 11 p.m. under Beshear’s orders.
Beshear said the biggest change for bars and restaurants is enforced seat rules—”everyone has a seat and they are sitting in it.” He said there should be no congregating at bar areas or anywhere else and patrons can go to the bathroom and come back but that should be the only time they are up from the table.